MFF: Matilde d’Ovidio
Edition 99
The young buyer manages, together with her mother Silvana, the family boutique opened in Pesaro in 1945. At the same time, she revamps in a modern key the codes of elegance passed down from founders Pietro and Licia Ratti
The third generation of a family-owned business, Matilde d’Ovidio Ratti has fashion in her DNA. Together with her mother, Silvana Ratti, she manages Ratti Boutique in Pesaro, one of the most well-known multibrand stores for men and women in the Marches Region, and FR Boutique, located in the heart of Bologna, as part of a collaboration with the retailer Folli Follie. Two women who are especially active and capable of working together in reinforcing a family tradition. “My entry into fashion was a rather natural process. I was born and raised in this environment, and my mother and my grandparents conveyed a passion for fashion to me in a completely spontaneous way, without any conditioning”, explains Matilde. “During my childhood, I spent a lot of my free time at the store and often accompanied my mother on her business trips and to fashion shows. After I finished my studies in Economics at Bocconi, I spent a period in New York where I worked for an advertising agency. It was a very educational experience, and once it ended, I found myself at a crossroads, where I had to decide whether or not to continue in the direction I was going or return to Pesaro to manage our family business with my mother. My love for fashion and obviously my family prevailed. I became part of the company in 2006, working side-by-side with my mother in the decision-making process. I focused on reinforcing the buying area, by looking above all to research and the development of important business collaborations”.

Have there been any moments of great change or important turning points in your professional career? 
I do not believe there was any one moment in particular. More than anything, I went through evolutions, changes, which over time, led to small revolutions in the company. One of these, for example, was the decision to combine in a single structure the two men’s stores we had up until twelve years ago. They were in fact two quite distinct stores, one with a more fashionable spirit, and the other with a more classic and sartorial cut. Two spirits very different from one another, which we united so they could coexist in the same context. This decision, which might have seemed forced in the beginning, was a winning one. Another important milestone was the recent launching of our new e-commerce channel, a project on which we are fully focused and which is already providing us with satisfying results. In any case, I believe that every turning point in my professional pathway was the result of hard work, and only with time, do we truly realize how far we’ve come, also thanks to good teamwork.

How has men’s fashion changed over the years, from its debut to today? 
It’s a well-known fact that fashion is cyclic. A concept that has by now been stereotyped, but which concretely sums up the fact that there is a periodic re-introduction of styles or iconic pieces reinterpreted by stylists to propose new aesthetic standards with the aim of astonishing. My first introduction to men’s fashion was in the sartorial segment and it was quite stimulating, because it allowed you to create your own collection through the customization of clothes and accessories. Then, over time, also this style changed, taking on a more relaxed and less rigid approach. New channels for communication completely revolutionized men’s fashion, making room for the phenomenon of streetwear, which boldly made its entry also into our world, allowing us to move closer to a much younger public. Despite this, I am convinced that some aesthetic standards, like formal wear and the concept of elegance will never be replaced and will always be present in our selections. 

How will men’s fashion evolve?
In men’s fashion, we are witnessing a bona fide contamination, a term that is being used a lot in this period. Clothes become unisex and there is no longer a clear distinction between genres. Without a doubt, also the concept of eco-sustainability will become more prevalent, favoring quality over quantity. It is understood that the pandemic completely revolutionized our sector, because the needs of consumers, who are now in search of comfort both inside and outside their homes, have changed. As a consequence, the leading players in fashion have adapted by introducing a casual element also into formal styles.  

Do you have any interesting stories about your career or men’s fashion to tell?   
Returning to the importance of having two different styles coexist in the same context, which is not so insignificant, I have an especially pleasant memory of my collaboration with Marcelo Burlon. Since he first started out, we believed in his vision and style and during the party for our 70th anniversary, Marcelo gave an exceptional and touching musical performance. Instead, as far as the more elegant and sartorial soul is concerned, I have an equally fond memory of the Attolini brothers, an Italian excellence in tailoring, with whom we had the pleasure of organizing various trunk shows in our stores.